Tuesday, November 8, 2022

            In our Bibles, we have two letters that Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica.  Paul had likely founded this church during his second missionary journey. Paul’s message to the Thessalonians in his first letter was not as concentrated or focused on doctrine as much as some of his previous letters like Galatians, Ephesians and Romans.  He wrote I Thessalonians in a more personal way, seeking to encourage and exhort his readers in their Christian living. 
            In I Thessalonians 1:6-7, Paul encouraged his readers to be models or examples for Christ that their neighbors could see.  He wrote, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so, you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”  Christians can be examples and models for an unbelieving world to see and observe.  Our lives can often draw others to Christ.  Perhaps you could name some people in your past or present whose lives were instrumental in you personally coming to faith in Christ.  It could be a family member, a teacher, a coach or a fellow employee whose life was a compelling argument for Christ.  You simply could not dismiss it.
            Paul would later write in I Thessalonians 1:9 that believers there had turned to the one true God from idols and paganism.  As they left their sinful past and disobedience behind, they became examples to others who might have wished to leave a life of idolatry and immorality.  Courageous decisions of faith, boldness in living your faith and consistently seeking the Lord are all ways that God can work through your life and witness to reach others with the same gospel message that changed and transformed your life.
            There is an expression called “divine appointments.”  This expression means that God has been at work to orchestrate encounters, conversations and exchanges where He can work through a believer to impact or influence another person, a home or a situation for His glory.  God may well have orchestrated a divine appointment in your life where you had a chance to declare the gospel or offer a word of faith to another person.  Never discount such an opportunity.  The Bible is full of examples of God sending people on mission to speak about His grace, the gospel or Christ Himself.  David Platt has written that, “God in His providence has not called us to watch history but rather to shape history for the glory of His great name.”  Be a shaper of history whenever God gives you an occasion to glorify His name and ways.
            One of the first places you can be a model or influence is the home itself.  Be proactive in making your home a place for Christ and where conversations about Christ and faith can be conducted and shared.  Consider serving as a family in one of the many ministries, mission trips and projects that we offer through our church.  Shop for and fill a couple of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.  Let your home be a place where Christ is an honored guest and a frequent subject of conversation.  Just as Paul took note of the influence of the Thessalonians, may others see that in you as well.  Have a great Tuesday and worship any time at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.

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